Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
13 January 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr M Knight
Manhattan Corporation Limited
The British Broadcasting Corporation
Sections 3(6); 5(3) & 5(4)(a)


Section 3(6) - Opposition failed

Section 5(3) - Opposition failed

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • 'Bad faith'.


The opposition was based on the opponents’ registrations and use of the marks THE TARDIS and TARDIS.

The Hearing Officer dealt with the matter first under Section 5(3). The marks being identical and the goods not similar, the matter was essentially one of reputation and detriment.

The Hearing Officer, however, could not find from the evidence that the word TARDIS had ever been used as a trade mark and hence no reputation could be established. The Section 5(3) objection therefore fell at the first hurdle but the Hearing Officer went on to consider the other aspects of the opponents’ case which, in the result, he found had no merit.

Turning to the Section 5(4)(a) objection the Hearing Officer again found that the absence of a reputation or goodwill in the mark TARDIS in respect of any goods or services was fatal to the case.

Under Section 3(6) the Hearing Officer, whilst agreeing with the opponents that the mark was not coined entirely innocently (the applicants claimed it stood for Touring And Recreational Driving In Safety), he did not consider that its adoption amounted to 'bad faith'.

Full decision O/011/03 PDF document29Kb